CRW Engineering Group transportation planner Addison Spafford, left, talks to community members at a Jan. 26 meeting held by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities at the Cordova Center on Jan. 26, 2022. Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith for The Cordova Times

Federal funds totaling over $72 million have been granted to seven Alaskan communities from Metlakatla to Cold Bay and Kotzebue to invest in critical maritime infrastructure. 

The grants announced Tuesday by Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both R-Alaska, and made possible through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), will benefit port, harbor and dock improvement and development.   

The IIJA provided $2.25 billion available over five years to the Port Infrastructure development Program (PIDP), which is a key funding avenue for Alaska’s coastal communities. These grants, from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD), are also partially funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023. 

Murkowski said she was pleased to receive a call on Tuesday from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg about the funding, which she fought to include in the bipartisan infrastructure law. 

Buttigieg visited Alaska this past summer to see for himself the state’s maritime infrastructure needs. 

“Projects like the Port of Nome aren’t just crucial for economic development and transportation improvements, but will also provide strategic capability for our country in the Arctic in furtherance of our national security interests,” she said. “I’m proud to support and help advance them.” 


“With more coastline than the rest of the United States combined, maritime infrastructure is critical to our state,” Sullivan said. “The large number of grants awarded to our coastal communities is a reflection of Alaska’s dependence on waterfronts and the great need we have across our state for infrastructure improvements.” 

“These awards are hugely beneficial to Alaska’s maritime economy and transportation abilities, and will improve our coastal supply chain,” he said. 

Grant recipients include: 

  • $43.3 million for construction of a replacement dock at Cold Bay  
  • $11.2 million for construction of water and wastewater, fuel, power and communications infrastructure to expand and deepen the Port of Nome 
  • $8.9 million to replace the 60-year-old harbor in Yakutat 
  • $3.4 million for improvements at the Port of Metlakatla 
  • $2.4 million for a new port at Cape Blossom at Kotzebue 
  • $2.3 million to replace the Jakolof Bay Dock at Seldovia 
  • $421,000 for a 40-acre deep water port site at Wrangell